Welcome to the Military Wives' Kitchen!


#1

Welcome to my little base house kitchen! I’m sure we can find some room for all my fellow military wives. It seems whenever we get together we usually end up hanging out in the kitchen. Come on in and have some coffee or tea and whatever I have freshly baked today. Actually, right now I have a box of Dunkin Doughnuts. Did you know they give a military discount?

I have noticed alot of fellow military wives here! Share your stories, vent your frustrations and share a laugh or tear. You can even post the sappy military wife poems if you want. Decorating tips, coping with deployment tips, whatever you have to share!

Civillians are welcome to come on in too. I hope you all enjoy the art gallery on my fridge, it changes nearly every day.

Have a cookie.

Perhaps I will have a “topic of the day.”


#2

I’ve been an Air Force Wife for 11 yrs in April. That’s a long time! We have lived in Base housing for six years straight and I decorate every room. If I can figure out how to post pictures I will do that! I also enjoy gardening, art, scrapbooking and writing. I’m a homeschool mom of three ages 8, 5, and 3. We are waiting for orders, so don’t know when we will be moving, but it will be soon!

I usually only post when my husband is on missions. I just noticed that I am up to post 1,996, so will be up to 2,000 soon!


#3

Well I’m not a military wife, I’m a military sister. Can that count for a minute or two? :slight_smile:

My brother returns home from his first deployment to Iraq in a couple weeks. He was in mortuary affairs; doing the search, recovery and identification of fallen soldiers and then preparing their bodies to be sent back home. He was also a gunner (the guy with the gun on top of the tank) during his convoys out while searching for fallen soldiers and served as a prison guard, too. Obviously it will be an adjustment for him to transition back to American life–he’s a reservist, btw–and I am just wondering if there are any tips on how to help him make this transition smoothly? He might be returning again in six months time, but not sure. I have been in regular, frequent contact with him during his time away and he is still my same little brother but I have noticed some differences obviously. I know that there are a lot of warnings about PTSD after a deployment, though not usually for several months after they’ve returned. We’ve talked about it and he has said several times that he will ask for help if need be but that for now he is just really excited to get back home.

Have your loved ones wanted to talk about their experiences? How have you welcomed them?

My brother anticipates getting engaged and planning a wedding soon, so that will be a big focus for him probably.

Any tips?? Anything your loved ones really appreciated during their coming home time?


#4

[font=Times New Roman]Topic #1[/font]
“What are the craziest things that have ever happened to you or your friends while your husbands were TDY or Deployed?”
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[font=Times New Roman]BECOMING INDEPENDENT[/font]

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[font=Times New Roman]There are dozens of horror stories about things that have happened when spouses found themselves home alone during a TDY. A few easy rules to remember might prevent a disaster.[/font]

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[font=CG Times]Rule #l - If something is going to go wrong, it will happen while your spouse is TDY.[/font]

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[font=Times New Roman]It’s an amazing wonder of nature that the most aggravating, troublesome occur­rences in your household will happen when your spouse is flying. An eight months pregnant wife in our squadron dropped a can of soup on her toe one night and couldn’t bend over long enough to stop the bleeding. Luckily, her next-door neighbor was home to help with this ridiculous situation. It wasn’t too embarrassing since they were good friends and her husband was also TDY.[/font]

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[font=CG Times]Rule #2 - Get to know your closest neighbors really well.[/font]

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[font=CG Times]A few days later, that same pregnant woman was ordered to go on complete bed rest at home. Naturally, her husband was flying when she received a frantic collect phone call from Patsy, whose husband had already been alerted for a trip and left the house. Poor Patsy had driven to Baltimore to pick up her mother at the airport. With three small children in the back, the car had broken down at a rest stop.[/font]

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[font=CG Times]Rule #3 - Belong to an emergency auto club, like AAA, and put the information on how to use it in all of your cars.[/font]

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[font=Times New Roman]Well, she did have AAA but couldn’t tell the woman on the phone where she was so they could help.[/font]

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[font=CG Times]Rule #4 - Always keep maps in the car and know how to read them.[/font]

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[font=Times New Roman]So there she was at the phone booth with no change and no telephone credit card. Can you figure out Rule #5? The friend would normally have dropped everything and driven out to pick them all up, but couldn’t since she was supposed to be in bed. So she did the first thing that most of us do when we need help: called the squadron.[/font]

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[font=Times New Roman]They finally got Patsy’s husband back from Base Ops to come and rescue his entire family plus the mother-in-law who had called the police when nobody showed up at the airport. (They did try to get a message to her through the airline.) Another crewmember had to be called in to take his place. To top it off, dirty battery cables were the cause of her car trouble.[/font]

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[font=CG Times]This was, obviously, one of the worst stories we could tell but it is abso­lutely true. Patsy is better prepared for little emergencies now. In fact,she took a basic car care course at the SkillsCenter on Base.[/font]

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#5

The craziest story I have heard is from a friend of mine. Her husband is a pilot who has been on flight crews many times with my Flight Engineer Husband. While they were stationed in Panama, her husband was on a training mission when she went to put her youngest 2 yr old son on the potty. She looked down and, sure enough there was a baby alligator in the toilet. They ran out of the bathroom and called her husband’s squadron. His whole crew showed up, making comments like "She’s just trying to get you out of this flight. Or “I wonder if there is really an alligator in the toilet,” etc.

They went upstairs to the potty and checked and the next thing she heard was “There’s an alligator in your toilet!” they were able to get it out and put it in a bucket. I dont’ remember what they did with it, but there was a new family rule that everyone must turn on a bright light and look into the potty before plopping your buns down on the seat.


#6

So far, my only wildlife story took place while my husband was on an overseas mission. I was hugely pregnant with my third baby and had just put the children to bed. I sat on the sofa, watching Dr Doolittle, when suddenly a bat flew out of the corner about three feet from me. I ran upstairs and made sure the kid’s bedroom doors were shut and went nextdoor to a friend’s house. He happened to be in my husband’s squadron. He asked if I wanted him to kill the bat or catch and release. I told him catch and release if possible. He and his teenage daughter came over. He had his son’s small butterfly net in his hand. He caught it first try and we stood on the front porch and watched it crawl out and fly away.

My husband once went on a snake hunt in my neighbor’s house while her husband was deployed. It kept coming out of the ceiling lights and vents. It was a green treesnake. They never did catch the sly thing.


#7

I’m liking this new thread PBWU! I have been a military wife for twelve years now. As you know, we’re due for a PCS also.

We have lived off base except when we were first married and DINKS, and at our last assignment. We homeschool as well. We’ve been stationed at Ellsworth- SD, Vance- OK, Elmendorf- AK, Scott- IL, Offut-NE, and Wright-Patterson-OH. Would LOVE to go oversees someday.

I don’t have any critter stories to tell. Not even any thrilling ones. But, I have had not-so-good things happen while hubby was gone. The worst was last Feb. when all five children caught the “liqua-poop and puke” crud. Sorry to be so crude, but that’s the best way to describe it. (Picture the “virtual puke-a-rama” scene from Stand by Me , add the lower intestinal problems and you’ll get an idea of what my house was like. :stuck_out_tongue: ) It lasted FOREVER-- or so it seemed. At the time, my youngest was 12mos and the next oldest was 2 1/2. Both were in diapers and let me tell ya that this stuff could NOT be contained in diapers. It smelled awful. I was running all over the place. It seemed like every 5 minutes (sometimes less) someone was hollering, “MMMOOOMMM!!” I could barely keep up with the mess. My neighbors wanted to help, but that stuff was so awful I just didn’t want to expose anyone else to it.


#8

Oops, forgot one duty station. We were also at Offut in NE. :smiley:


#9

Yippee! I thought about starting a thread like this, but, well, never got around to it. So thank you PBWU :thumbsup:

I’m a military (Army) wife of 10 years and three boys ages 8, soon to be 6, and 10 months. My husband is currently deployed (please pray for him!). He comes home for R&R in 20 days :smiley: !

The weirdest thing to happen to me so far while he’s been gone is that, of course, our mini-van died. It was at my son’s soccer practice. It was weird because I was sitting in the van because it was cold outside - I had the radio on - then turned around to talk to my son about his homework. I turned back around and the radio was off. I thought it was strange but must have turned it down to talk to him or something. Nope. The van was dead! Someone gave me a jump and we noticed the wires were a little loose to the battery (possibly due to many military vehicle searches of slamming the hood down :)). So, I didn’t think too much of it. The exact next week I parked in the same exact spot and the van died again! Too strange!! Ended up I needed a new battery - but to have the van die twice, in one week, in the exact same spot was just freaky!

Princess_Abby - I think most people adjust well after a deployment. I wouldn’t ask him any specific details unless he brings up the topic first. He has one of the most difficult job of war and I’m sure they are already keeping an eye on him. One of the best things is to welcome him home with open arms. If he is a “family” guy, maybe have a welcome home dinner at his favorite restraunt. At least my husband misses that food (but we are overseas and miss it anyway!). I’m sure he will just want to spend some time curling up with his fiance on the couch in front of cable tv and just veg out.

I better get going. I’m sooo excited this thread is here! So far it looks as if we have: Peace-BWU, AlaskaAggies, Princess_Abby, and myself. I know ArmyWife is out there somewhere :slight_smile: Come on everyone - it’s roll call time!


#10

I’m here too! Air Force wife of 10yrs…(wife for 8, together for 10? Geeze, how’d that happen???) we’ve been stationed in NM, AZ, England and now here

The most frustrating/upsetting TDY episode for me was when DH was deployed (of course with all of 24hrs notice from another deployment -they brought him home and shipped him off the next day) for an aircraft investigation on a helicopter that went down in the desert of afghanistan…we were overseas, the closest unit, and his experience, so of course it just HAD to be him… LOL. His bud called from the squadron and said “uh, I need to know his boot size” and I said "he already has boots’ – and then realized they were talking about DCUs…eep. So anyway, we drove him to the base to board the 130, and he checked his email one more time…in it was notice that we were being evicted from base housing effective 30days – we knew it was coming, they were doing renovations, but they’d told us another month at least before the notices went out…ha. So while he was gone, i got to single-handedly (with an 18mo old) find a house, move us (which was interesting in england, where 9-11 rules meant you couldn’t open a bank account as a “foreiegner” to save your life, but couldn’t rent a house without a bank account)-- they offered us a totally crappy and condemned house as a replacement…so I had to find us a house and do all the moving stuff alone. Which was fine, except I was also trying to complete my reserve duties for the year at that point too…

that made the second time I’ve moved us b/c of a TDY – more specifically, an aircraft accident investigation - -the first time was when a T3 went down in C-springs in 97(?) his lease was up and he was moving into my apartment complex, and it was an exercise weekend on base, so all my friends were working (he and I worked for a tenant unit, so we weren’t involved in the exercise) – so basically, my 5’ 96lb self and my big huge saturn moved his apartment four boxes at a time with the occasional “in between shifts” pickup truckful of furniture…(one of those pickups was at 3am, btw, but beggars can’t be choosers)


#11

just a grateful civilian saying thank you to all the unsung heroes – the wives, husbands, children, parents, families of those serving our country who make their sacrifice possible through their support, and who suffer when their loved one is in harm’s way. you are not forgotten.


#12

Hello! My husband started on active duty a week after we got married almost 9 years ago. We have lived in MO (Fort Leonard Wood); Schweinfurt, Germany; Fort Benning, GA; NC (Fort Bragg); Monterey, CA; and we are back at Fort Bragg.

We lived in housing in Germany, GA, and California. If your husband can get assigned to DLI or NPS, I highly recommend it! It was like a 15 month vacation–and our quarters actually overlooked Monterey Bay!:wink:

My husband is also deployed. He left Dec 14th and we hope to have him home by the end of October. (No R&R for us:nope: .)

We have a 7 year-old daughter who we homeschool. We would love to have more, but it hasn’t yet been in God’s plan for us.
I am looking forward to getting together with you. I find my current location very difficult for finding a core Catholic group. It probably has something to do with our “parish” having 9 Masses every weekend spread out all over the post. They call it a “Catholic Community,” but it doesn’t feel like much of one to me.


#13

I’ve been married to an Air Force man for 16 years this month, married him when I was active duty myself.

Now that I’ve been a dependent (boy I HATE that word) for 12 years, I can honestly say it’s been interesting. We’ve mostly been at Army posts due to the fact that my husband is Army support (the Army doesn’t have weather forecasters)

I’ve been to Germany, Colorado, Mississippi, California, Turkey, and we’re here in New Mexico now.

I’ll have to think about which story I want to tell first :confused:


#14

So great to meet you all! I am drinking coffee right now, but my kids ate the rest of the doughnuts. :slight_smile:

Here, have a virtual cup!

My husband is a TSGT Flight Engineer and is often on “alert” He was on an alert this week and I had a dental appt. at 9:15 on Tuesday, which I thought I could make, so confirmed. He was alerted at a few minutes after 9:00, and called on my cell phone, just as I had exited base. Well, the traffic back onto base was at it’s busiest, so I arrived home at 9:30 and called the dentist.

The receptionist was so rude, and snotty about how she had just charged $30 to my account. “WELL maam I assumed when I called to confirm your appointment yesterday that you would be here at 9:15 like you said! You need to give 24 hrs notice.” I explained that I called as soon as possible, that I am a military wife and dont’ always have 24 hrs. notice, that my husband was on alert and is the only person I have to care for the kids during the day. She said “I will take the charge off just this once.” I said that I understand the purpose for the charge but will need to find another dentist.

It is such a challenge to go to the doctor or dentist with my honey’s unpredictable schedule! Anytime I can’t take all three kids, it is a gamble whether I will be able to go or not, especially since the appts are scheduled months in advance. I think they have “no-shows” so often that they are rude when a patient has a legitimate excuse. :whacky: I understand their woes. Luckily I am usually able to give 24 hrs notice!

BTW
I have spent time in:

Biloxi,MS.
Altus,OK.
Wright Pat,OH.
Pensacoloa NAS. FL.
Eglin AFB, FL.

but so far have only been *officially *stationed at two bases:

Hurlburt Field, FL.
Dover AFB., DE.

We are hoping for an overseas assignment, but there is a good chance we will be going to San Antonio, TX. next.


#15

Just a reminder, I am sure most of us have been “in” long enough to know what information is appropriate to share, but just in case there are some “new” spouses or family members…

If your loved one’s job is classified, don’t tell us what he/she does, only give unclassified or general information.

I was working at Walmart 8 yrs ago, and there were several military wives employed because the manager was so good at being flexible for a military dependant’s schedule… My husband was stationed at a Special ops base and much of the information was classified, especially information about the plane. I once asked a fellow wife “What does your husband do?” She said she didn’t know much about it … which is code word for “That is classified, sorry” Of course I didn’t ask anymore questions and said “I understand.”

The very next day she took me aside and told me exactly what he does. It was a job that doesn’t exist and is so top secret that when I asked my husband about it he looked at me and was totally shocked, told me never to repeat it. I later told the wife that I am a “safe” person, but that she should never tell anyone else about it.

Loose lips sink ships!


#16

[quote=Princess_Abby]My brother returns home from his first deployment to Iraq in a couple weeks. He was in mortuary affairs; doing the search, recovery and identification of fallen soldiers and then preparing their bodies to be sent back home. He was also a gunner (the guy with the gun on top of the tank) during his convoys out while searching for fallen soldiers and served as a prison guard, too. Obviously it will be an adjustment for him to transition back to American life–he’s a reservist, btw–and I am just wondering if there are any tips on how to help him make this transition smoothly? He might be returning again in six months time, but not sure. I have been in regular, frequent contact with him during his time away and he is still my same little brother but I have noticed some differences obviously. I know that there are a lot of warnings about PTSD after a deployment, though not usually for several months after they’ve returned. We’ve talked about it and he has said several times that he will ask for help if need be but that for now he is just really excited to get back home.

Have your loved ones wanted to talk about their experiences? How have you welcomed them?

My brother anticipates getting engaged and planning a wedding soon, so that will be a big focus for him probably.

Any tips?? Anything your loved ones really appreciated during their coming home time?
[/quote]

Abby,
One of my closest friends’ husband has worked in the mortuary here at Dover. .

The most important thing to remember is that it takes some “down load” time to process being back home. It is a big transition, and often there is a degree of trauma to deal with. Whether the person was exposed to the horrors of war or not (even if they were sitting at a desk) there is an adjustment period. I can give you a phone # to call for helpful packets of information for you brother’s girlfriend and your family. OR If you want I can send some information about the return home available here. I’m a key spouse so have loads of pamphlets etc.

It is very common for the wife (or girlfriend) or kids back home to imagine their version of a perfect homecoming, to believe that everything will be immediately back to "normal’ That we will be "wooed’ with candlelight and roses. But in realily, there is Jet lag, mental/ emotional processing. This sometimes displays itself with a low tolerance to stimulation such as noise or lots of company, depending on the person’s personality. Sometimes certain smells or sounds will stimulate a memory, or response. Hopefully your brother’s girlfriend will be aware of this and prepare accordingly so that she won’t take it the wrong way and be disappointed.

My cousin is a security policeman in the K9 unit, and passed through our base on his way into Iraq and then back out.

The things he truly appreciated were haveing a relaxing time here with his family (his parents and sibs visited us to see him)

Have whatever your brother likes to eat.

I went out and bought some big juicy steaks and made shrimp kabobs on the grill. and had Creme soda and beer. I also had Oreo cookies. Those are some of the things he likes, and I can tell you that I saw the enjoyment on his face at being able to have those things!!! He especially loved the Oreo cookies because he didn’t have any *real *Oreos while he was there. I will never forget the things he said . “Oh my God it’s so good to have real Oreo cookies and you have creme soda! This steak is soooo good. it’s so great to have homemade American food!”

My cousin began telling us a few awful stories right away (out of the kids’ earshot) about being the first on the scene of a bombing. I was glad he could talk about it.

My advice is, don’t ask any *specific *questions. Let him tell you, and when he does, be supportive of whatever emotions he feels. Everyone is different, but if your brother wants to talk about it, be there for him and let him say whatever he wants… He may never talk to you about it. He might not want to burden you with it. He might just want you to be the same sister he has always known. Some ppl need to start talking about their bad experiences right away, others take more time.

There have been things my husband didn’t talk to me about until almost a year later, even though he usually tells me right away. He also saves me from information that will worry me. I just read some stuff last week about some emergency situations he didnt’ tell me about. He didn’t want me to worry.

One good point is that there are usually counselors regularly available for ppl in your brother’s career field, so he may be able to talk about it regularly while he is there, as he goes through the process of his job.

Also keep in mind that there are thousands of people who are going through the same thing and are able to overcome the awful things they experience. Let him lead the way with talking about it.


#17

My husband is a reservist, after being active for 10 years. He was in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm, and got sent home when his first wife relapsed with leukemia. She died, we got married, and we got out in '98.He is now a contractor working at Pax River, MD NAS. The only tours I did with him were NPS in Monterey, CA, and Norfolk. After that we went civilian and found ourselves in Maine, RI and now MD. Pax is, by far, the best from a Catholic homeschooling point of view.
He is travelling a lot, but when I consider what you all have done I want to crawl under a rock for complaining!


#18

My husband is army. We’ve been married for almost 14 yrs. I usually don’t refer to myself as an army wife because I am my husband’s wife, not the army’s. Anyway, that’s my little soapbox. We have been stationed at FT Campbell, then FT Sam, then back to Ft Campbell and are hoping to finish out soon back at Ft Sam! We have never lived on post (if you’ve ever been to Ft Campbell you’ll know why). We have had a lot go on during my husband’s deployments. He was called back 2 weeks before our daughter died during his last deployment to Iraq. But that is a very sad story. I want to tell you about the first time he was gone on hardship tour to Korea (1 Yr tour).
I was on active duty as well and we had 2 girls under 3 yrs old. Everything went wrong from the beginning. The air conditioner broke, the refridgerator broke, the fish tank got all green and smelly (I had to call in a hit man cause the fish wouldn’t die, sorry), the dog ran away and the day before he came home, I left my office to go home and found I had a flat tire! He got one heck of a welcome home but I waited a couple of days to give him the extraordinarily long honey-do list! Then I took a 2 day nap. :smiley:
Our rule is that neither of us tell each other scary stuff that has been resolved until we are sitting together on the couch drinking a beer. We don’t tell each other stuff that the other can do nothing about while we are separated. He doesn’t tell me of all his close calls and I don’t tell him that his car is dead because I forgot to start it for the last 3 months. :rolleyes:


#19

[quote=Peace-bwu]Welcome to my little base house kitchen! I’m sure we can find some room for all my fellow military wives.
[/quote]

Once again, another group that descriminates against the military huband who holds down the fort while the active duty wife is away.

I have my (now retiree) dependent ID card in my wallet. I have my big certificate from the President thanking me for my sacrifice while my wife served 20 years. And yet another group is “wives only”.

Bah.


#20

Well, it seems so far I am the youngest military wife. My husband had a few years in before we married and I have only “been in the Army” for five years. Total he has 11 years in and will be home from a year-long deployment in March!!! YEA!!!

We have been stationed overseas the whole time we have been married. Hanau, Germany and currently in Vicenza, Itlay. We are trying to get another COT back to Germany, but that seems unlikely.

I don’t have any bad TDY stories, but I have had all three of my children overseas in German/Italian hospitals. As well as all my prenatal care by local dr’s. Great experiences!

My apartment is sooo tiny and windows very tall that my curtains hang about 11/2 feet from the floor.

And thanks for the cup of coffee. And BTW Timidity, we had men in our FRG group, we are equal-opportunity.


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